Gender and research publishing in India: uniformly high inequality?

Thelwall, M., et al. (2019). "Gender and research publishing in India: uniformly high inequality?" Journal of Informetrics 13(1): 118-131.

Women’s access to academic careers has been historically limited by discrimination and cultural constraints. Comprehensive information about gender inequality within disciplines is needed to understand the problem and target remedial action. India is the fifth largest research producer but has a low international index of gender inequality and so is an important case. This study assesses gender inequalities in Indian journal article publishing in 2017 for 186 research fields. It also seeks overall gender differences in interests across academia by comparing the terms used in 27,710 articles with an Indian male or female first author. The data show that there are at least 1.5 male first authors per female first author in each of 26 broad fields and 2.8 male first authors per female first author overall. Compared to the USA, India has a much lower share of female first authors but smaller variations in gender differences between broad fields. Dentistry, Economics and Maths are all more female in India, but Veterinary is much less female than in the USA. There is a tendency for males to research thing-oriented topics and for females to research helping people and some life science topics. More initiatives to promote gender equality in science are needed to address the overall imbalance, but care should be taken to avoid creating the larger between-field gender differences found in the USA.

Read article